Can a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Help You?

How Can We Help?

Abraham T. Shurland, MDby Abraham Shurland, MD

At Agility Orthopedics, our team of clinical providers does everything possible to avoid surgery. When you come in for an appointment we may recommend physical therapy, occupational therapy, an injection, rest, activity modification, bracing, splinting or any number of other interventions. We want to try everything possible to avoid surgery and only recommend a surgical procedure when we feel it is absolutely necessary. In the past several years, a new non-surgical intervention has gained popularity called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection. This procedure can be especially helpful with tendon and ligament injuries. You may have heard of this treatment in high profile athletes hoping to avoid surgery and return to play.

With a PRP Injection we are essentially using the healing properties of your own concentrated blood plasma to promote healing in an area of injury. This procedure often works best in areas that do not receive a great blood supply. In your blood, the plasma contains many of the important healing agents that help you recover from injuries. With PRP Injections, we take a small sample of your blood and place the blood into a centrifuge. The centrifuge separates the blood components by their weight. We then draw the concentrated blood cells that promote healing and inject them directly into the injured area.

PRP Injections need to be delivered to a precise location. The physicians at Agility Orthopedics are uniquely qualified for this as we are the only orthopedic practice in New England to be accredited through the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) to perform ultrasounds for injection guidance and diagnostic purposes for patients with musculoskeletal disorders. We use ultrasound to guide PRP injections to the exact location that they are needed. Ultrasound makes injection more precise, but it also can make injections more comfortable as we are able to avoid sensitive structures during the injection.

You should be aware that PRP Injections take some time to prepare. Patients should expect to be in the office for anywhere between 45 to 90 minutes. This is the time it takes to draw the blood and prepare the blood plasma concentrate for reinjection into the affected area.

The effectiveness of these injections is variable among patients. While some patients obtain significant relief with a single injection, there are times when multiple injections are recommended and some patients do not obtain any significant long term relief.

We want patients to be aware that PRP Injections are not covered by insurance. As a result, this procedure is provided to patients as an out of pocket expense. Because the procedure kits are expensive and because we need to block of so much time for these procedures, patients are asked to pay for the injection in advance of the treatment.

Although we are not able to guarantee you will get relief from PRP Injections, you can be confident that we will not recommend this procedure to you unless we feel that you are a good candidate. Ultimately, you are in control. This procedure is available to you and it is your choice to give it a try.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us at 781-279-7040.